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Is White Good For Summer Skin Protection?

Is White Good For Summer Skin Protection?

Protecting your skin from winter sun and sunburn

What do you think about the question “is white good for Summer Skin Protection?” Or should you consider other colors?

White has always been associated with summer since I was young. While newer fabrics can now be used to make winter whites a practical addition to our wardrobes. Will they protect you from the winters sun’s dangerous rays?

In our part of the world, where we have many hours of sun, even in the winter, protecting our skin from the sun has become more important.

We as a family were not as concerned as we should have been about the winter sun. We didn’t know that the sun could do so much damage to our skin, even if it didn’t feel hot and sweaty!

Learning about fabrics and how to work with them using the science of color, we realize that we can do better in summer or winter.

Will I Get A Sunburn In Winter If I Wear A White Shirt?

Are you aware of the risks to your skin with winter sun exposure? There are a few different situations, and you have to pay attention to ensure that you are taking precautions to protect your skin, even in the winter.

Do you forget about your sunscreen at the end of summer? Unfortunately, you’re not alone.

People often think that white is a good color to wear to block the sun. It will reflect a large part of the sun. However, if the fabric in the shirt isn’t sun blocking fabric, you will get sun through your shirt.

A tightly woven loose-fitting shirt with long sleeves is what it takes to protect you. If the shirt fits tight, your body heat will have no way to escape and can make you clammy and a bit damp. A loosey fitting shirt leaves room for air to circulate and cool your body.

White can be good for summer or winter skin protection. A UPF fabric will do the best job of protecting your skin. It will be more comfortable, especially if you want to wear white.

Skin Cancer .com tells us that fewer than 30% of the population remembers sunscreen in the wintertime. When you think about the fact that less than 50% of us here in the US bother with sunscreen in the summer? Too many of us are neglecting our skin protection in all seasons!

We Don’t Have To Worry about Sunburn In The Winter

Another one of these falsehoods that can get your skin in trouble. Just like the one about it was cloudy and overcast. I won’t get sun today.

Most people believe the sun’s rays aren’t powerful enough to cause damage in the colder winter months. This is just not true.

The UV index is the scale used to measure the power of the sun’s ultraviolet rays at any given time and place.

The rating from this scale does show that the risk is lower in the winter. However, the sun is still powerful enough to do some sun damage to your skin.

If you stay out too long in the sun, even in the winter, you can get a visible sunburn in the winter. Your skin reacts the same to winter and summer sunburns. They both do damage to your skin.

White can allow damage if the fabric allows the sun to shine through.

Another false statement that is taken for the truth too often?

It’s Just Windburn

Another common misconception is that windburn is to blame for redness during winter.

After a day out in the sun, people often mistake their new sunburn for windburn. This often happens after a day outdoors with little or no direct sun.

People often forget that the sun’s radiation will hit your skin through clouds. Then you are getting a healthy dose of early aging from UVA as well as some UVB that is penetrating the cloud cover.

This will be especially true if you wear white. The reflections from a white shirt can cause sunburn quickly. You are getting a double dose with white clothing. The reflecting rays do as much damage as the ones coming from the sun.

White may be better for wearing later in the day after the sun’s rays are less dangerous. However, white can block the sun’s rays from getting through the fabric if it is a sun-blocking fabric.

White blocks the sun’s rays. You will feel cooler. However, if your body produces heat as in summer and you are busy, the body heat will be reflected back to your skin. It will not allow the heat to escape.

That can make a garment hotter to wear.

Black will absorb the rays and also hold them from your body. However, black will allow the heat from your body to be absorbed as well. If your garment is loose-fitting, the heat from your body will rise and slowly dissipate. This will allow you to be cooler.

A White Shirt, And A“Base Tan” Will Keep Me From Sunburn

Right up there with a white shirt keeping you safe from the sun is the idea of a base tan!

So what is a “base tan?”

This false statement started back when we were unaware of the damage being done to our skin by the sun. Back when we thought a tan was healthy.

You may think a tan is healthy, but it is actually the signal that you have damaged your skin. You have made your skin go into self-protection mode and start producing the protection your body needs.

When your skin cells are threatened with UV rays coming at them from the sun? They kick into protection mode.

How do the skin cells try to protect your skin?

By distributing darker pigment cells (melanocytes) to those cells on the surface.

The darker pigment cells block UV radiation from hitting your cell’s most valuable part. The most valuable part of the cell? It’s DNA! The ability to reproduce itself.

Back to a base tan. You will get about a UPF of about 3% if you have carefully tanned your skin without getting a sunburn, somewhere on your body.

So, you can be out about 1/2 hour longer than you could before the “base tan” turns to blister and sunburn. All that trouble and risk for so short a time.

Decide instead to protect your skin with sun blocking clothing and sunscreen and be aware of how long you are in the sun.

Another risk of “base tan,” is the fact that often people will turn to tan salons or sun lamps for this treatment. Using tanning beds is so dangerous many states don’t allow them.

Sunburn And Winter Sports

Staying active outdoors during winter is great! However, many think that as long as they are active and moving about in the winter, they don’t have to worry about sunburn.

Just like in the summer, being out in the sun requires skin protection. Sun blocking clothing is a good way, summer and winter to protect your skin.

When you have sun blocking clothing you will have the protection you need to stay safe. Summer and winter, relying on covering up your skin with clothing is a safer move than trying to keep up with sunscreen applications.

But it’s important to make sunscreen part of your winter and summer sport routine.

The sun’s UV rays are higher at higher altitudes. With altitude increase, UV levels increase by about 10 percent. Keep this in mind when you are skiing or snowboarding! This makes winter sports as hard on the skin as summertime sports are. Pay attention to how your skin is reacting.

Snow will also magnify the strength of UV rays.

When you have fresh, white snow? This will reflect the sun’s rays, and can up to double your UV exposure.

Yes, the UV index is a bit lower in winter, but when doubled, it can be on par with summer levels. Be especially careful during activities like ice fishing, tobogganing, or skating.

Let’s Talk Skin Protection For A Moment

Your sun protection is simpler in the winter months than in summer.

Why? You will naturally be wearing more clothing in the winter due to cold weather. There are a few steps you should take to protect your skin, even if you think it is more protected.

Often you forget to wear moisturizers in the winter. You think you are wearing sunscreen, you won’t need a moisturizer too.

However, not all sunscreens will help your skin stay moisturized in the wintertime weather extremes. If your moisturizer has an SPF of 30 or more, you can do both in one step. That is helpful for sure.

In the summer, an oil-free moisturizer sunscreen combination will make this step quicker.

Don’t forget your lip balm. One that has an SPF of 50 is better. Skin Cancer is often found on the lips. Summer and winter, this is important.

Cover as much skin as possible with clothing. Yes, I know, it is summertime. You are used to wearing as few garments as possible.

We are talking about skin protection. Had you rather try to remember to apply 1 to 2 ounces of sunscreen every couple of hours? Or if you are in the water and out a lot, more often. That loose-fitting long sleeve shirt is sure easier.


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• Wear wraparound goggles or sunglasses with 100 per cent UV protection.
• Seek shade during peak sun hours (midday) or use a pop up shelter or umbrella if you’re spending a long time outside.

Going south for vacation?

• Check the Local UV Report. If you can, limit time in the sun when the UV Index is 3 or higher.
• Seek shade or make shade by using an umbrella, a UV protective tent or pop-up shelter.
• Wear comfortable clothes that cover as much skin as possible (even when swimming) or UV-protective clothing. Wear a wide brimmed hat that covers the head, neck, and ears.
• Apply plenty of sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher, labelled ‘broad spectrum’ and ‘water resistant.’ Reapply every 2 to 3 hours; more frequently if swimming, sweating, or towelling. Use a sunscreen lip balm.
• Wear close fitting/wraparound sunglasses with 100 per cent UV protection.

Sun exposure and skin cancer

When you get a sunburn, the cells in your skin are being damaged. Those damaged cells can develop into skin cancer, including melanoma.

Melanoma is one of the most preventable forms of cancer. When discovered early, it can also be very treatable. But if detected late, melanoma can spread to other parts of the body, growing into the deep layers of the skin and entering the lymph system. Once it spreads to other organs, it can be extremely difficult to treat.

Monitoring your skin carefully and regularly can help detect abnormal growths early. Learn how to do a proper skin check.

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